When a tree falls in the forest, sometimes it will block a well-trodden path. When the next person comes along, hoping to tread further through the forest, they’ll be faced with the choice of backtracking or bushwacking. If they don’t have the proper tools for bushwacking (e.g., a machete or a hatchet), and they still opt for making their way around the fallen tree, they may find themselves hopelessly hung up in a thicket. Or even worse, in my opinion, they may blunder face first through a heavily occupied spider web. But what if there is no path, and no one had passed this way before you to know whether a tree did or did not fall?
Since the moment I began to plan the “Cross-Country Road Trip to Gather Film Content”, my intuition has been reaffirming those evolving plans every step of the way. Regularly occurring synchronicities have been playfully inviting me to make the next move, without fear, and with trust in God and the Universe. All along I’ve stayed calm. All along I’ve remained focused on the higher purpose motivating me to take this journey. Even since the accident, the one that permanently disabled the only gas-powered transportation I own, I’ve still only had one or two moments of self-doubt, and they took place in waking moments past midnight, when these weaknesses can, and often do, get a foothold. I am presently confident that I should carry on. Continue making plans for the road trip.
From one person’s perspective, it may appear that I am hung up in a circumstantial thicket with spider webs covering my entire body, from another, the accident might be perceived as beneficial, an ironic blessing of sorts. More and more, I’m perceiving the accident as an occurrence of the latter type, and less and less I see it as the former.
On my drive out of Savannah last Monday, I took a detour to the Harris Neck National Wildlife Refuge. When I first saw these flames, I was alarmed. How could anyone leave this fire unattended in the middle of all this pristine wilderness? What about all the beautiful plants trees and animals that would surely be burned alive? I almost had the urge to start stomping the closest flames and yelling for help. Then I came to my senses, remembering the process referred to as the prescribed burn. The forestry service now knows the benefits of allowing fire to burn through the underbrush and leaf litter to lessen the potential of a wildfire which could cause catastrophic damage to old growth forests and the wildlife living there. They know the proper time of year to allow this to happen, and in this case, they also know that the refuge is almost completely surrounded by swamp lands and brackish water. Instead of calling in the bucket brigade, I photographed the unattended, but presumably prescribed fire, and continued to make my way through the forest.
Further along the trail I snapped this shot. It was evident that the fire had burned hot through this area, probably because there was a buildup of underbrush here, so the flames had fuel enough to clear all the lower-level vegetation from the forest floor.
As I am writing this journal entry, I’m recognizing all of the apparent parallels to be made between the story of prescribed burns, and the way I’m beginning to think about the car accident that landed, and stranded, me in Saint Petersburg, Florida for the past week. If the accident hadn’t happened, neither would all the wonderful interactions I’m having here, nor the quality time spent with Victoria and Chris (my adult children). Gratitude grows, day by day, moment by moment, when I stay focused on all of the positive circumstances and potential opportunities for growth that have sprouted up since the car crash on the first of March.
Personal growth has its own seasons and cycles. It is sometimes hard to see it in ourselves because we are distracted by past failures and badgered by our own self-deprecating habitual behaviors. When accidents happen, plans change, but there is no point in focusing on an event that is now in the past. Instead, we can strive to remain flexible, being kind to ourselves and others, all through the process of perpetual change.
Thank you for reading here! Your presence is greatly appreciated.